Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope you are having a good summer. Many of you are enjoying time away from the city on the weekends, but I do want to keep you up with news from your church family. First, let me make you aware of an important transition that will be taking place in the near future. Jon Jones has made the decision to step down as our director of student ministries. He has given me permission to share with you the letter he sent earlier this week to the families with students participating in this ministry:
It is with mixed emotions that I announce my resignation from Peachtree Road. After almost 13 years, I have decided to open a new chapter in my life.
I will not be leaving student ministry, but will simply be transitioning into a new phase. With that in mind, I have created my own non-profit ministry called “Walking Together.” It is my hope and dream to continue to help guide students, families and young professionals as they seek to navigate life and develop a relationship with God. Please know that this decision was not easy. I have been going through a process for 6 months that has led me to this decision and I feel at peace as I leave this ministry in the hands of the best group of staff and volunteers that I could imagine.
My time here has been incredible and I cannot express how much each and every family means to me. As a young boy growing up in a home without the mention of God on St. Simons Island, I could never have imagined serving a church in the middle of Buckhead. Thankfully, Don Harp saw something in me and took a risk. I am indebted to him forever. This experience has changed my life in ways I cannot describe. Each student has become part of the fabric of my soul and the experiences we have shared together will resonate in my heart forever.
I am thankful for the support of Bill Britt and the entire staff over the past 13 years. Bill has helped us build this wonderful staff and amazing facility. I am confident that he will bring someone in that can take this ministry to the next level. Ashley, Grace and Luke are simply incredible people and will continue to love and care for your students. In fact, I am excited for my own daughter to become part of this ministry next year.
Finally, I will be here until the end of August and will look forward to gaining closure with the students and all of you. If you ever need me, I am just a phone call away. Thank you for the love you have shown to Anise and me. I appreciate it more than you could ever know.
Certainly, we all are grateful to Jon for his years of service to Peachtree Road and wish him well in his new venture. He has helped build a strong student ministry with unlimited potential. As mentioned in his letter, Jon will work through the summer, and we will look for ways to express our gratitude to him in the coming weeks. The focus today is upon sharing this news with you. In the near future we will establish a search team to seek out, interview, and recommend for hiring a new director of student ministries. Please lift Jon up in your prayers as he prepares for this next chapter in his life and pray for our students and their families as we move through this time of transition. Thank you.
Of course, this Sunday is our annual Celebration of Freedom Sunday. This is one of the most anticipated services of the year, and once again we will be singing patriotic hymns, honoring our veterans, and praying for our nation. I will be preaching on the topic “Let Freedom Ring!” and we will be talking about the freedom we enjoy through our relationship with Jesus Christ. The service will conclude with Atlanta’s favorite tenor Timothy Miller leading us in singing “God Bless America.” I hope you are planning to be present and encourage you to invite someone to come with you!
I also want to invite you to join us in front of the church on Monday, July 4, for our “Party on Peachtree” from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. We will gather out front to enjoy a time of fellowship as we cheer on the tens of thousands of runners as they sprint/jog/walk past our church as a part of the Peachtree Road Race. If you are participating in the race, look for me – I’ll be standing at the curb in front of the church and looking for you. The church bells will be chiming, and your friends will be there. Come spend the early hours of the holiday with your church family.
Finally, let me offer an invitation for you to join Wendie and me and others from Peachtree Road on a missionary journeys of Paul tour. We will spend twelve days on the Mediterranean Sea on the Celebrity Reflection cruise ship from June 29-July 10 of 2017. Wendie and I would love to share this experience with you as we travel to the ancient cities of Rome, Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, and Pompeii. I have been to Rome but this would be my first trip to the other sites, and I only can imagine how this trip will make the epistles of the New Testament come to life. Listen out for the announcement about an information meeting, and I hope you will consider being a part of this spiritual pilgrimage with others from your church.
Thank you for your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness in support of the ministry of Peachtree Road. I hope to see you Sunday as we worship together and celebrate our freedom.